Why is our strategic plan important? The changing economy presents many challenges to all facets of society, from individuals to organizations, and higher education is not an exception. Our plan focuses on creation and dissemination of knowledge in the core business disciplines (i.e., accounting, finance, management and entrepreneurship and marketing) while continue to develop, improve and support our differentiating areas of excellence in entrepreneurship, real estate and social responsibility. The plan follows our vision of always being entrepreneurial, while ensuring access to business education as well as increasing the quality of our students, faculty and programs through six major goals:
- Advance innovation and responsible business practices through excellence in research and research-based teaching
- Enhance the educational experience of Leeds students by developing a culture based on high academic expectations, student engagement, and preparedness for success in business practice
- Elevate the quality of the MBA program
- Strengthen our connectivity and relationships with key external constituents
- Increase the school’s resource base
- And finally, raise awareness and knowledge of the school.
We are working diligently towards achieving our strategic objectives through the implementation of key initiatives and the hard work of Leeds faculty and staff. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly knowing that we have done all of this with resources that are considerably more limited than those available to our peer schools.
Our faculty continue to engage in research projects that result in publications in the most prestigious academic journals, enhancing the reputation of Leeds while proposing fundamental changes in current and future business practices. They also share their findings with students at all levels by infusing the information in the undergraduate, MBA and doctoral curricula.
At the same time, they invite industry leaders to merge theory and practice, which has resulted in an increase in student engagement. This is evident in areas such as such as social entrepreneurship and sustainability, where Leeds students have joined with students in the sciences and in engineering to form clubs and coalitions in order to explore the creation of businesses that are both profitable and socially conscious. Faculty connected with aspiring entrepreneurs to help them establish new businesses in emerging economies in third world countries.
Leeds alumni are also active in these areas, for example:
- Nick Sowden’s ('07 management & entrepreneurship), company ToughStuff provides affordable, indestructible solar-panels and LED lamps for low-income populations in twenty-seven developing countries. Recently, the University of Colorado Alumni Association recognized Nick’s efforts with the Kalpana Chawla Outstanding Recent Graduate Award—this is the first time a Leeds graduate has received this award.
- Amanda Good's ('13 marketing), work in Rwanda provides a temporary home for former street boys who have been neglected, abused, imprisoned or orphaned. Read more about Amanda's efforts through this article on social responsibility on the Center for the Education on Social Responsibilty's blog.
- Tandeen Rustandy ('87 finance) and 2014 Alumni Service Award winner continues to be recognized for his integration of corporate social responsibility through the work as founder and Chief Executive Officer of PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk., one of the best-performing ceramic-tiles-manufacturing company in the world. Tandeen's dedication to the development of his country and society was documented in the spring 2012 edition of Portfolio magazine.
Leeds School of Business alumni continue to provide industry leadership as shown through:
- Michael Huseby ('76 business administration) is the CEO of Barnes and Noble. You can read more about his work with an iconic brand, leading the nation's last remaining big bookstore and competing against some of the world's largest technology companies in the summer 2014 edition of Portfolio.
- Alumna Sarah Kauss ('97 finance) Featured in Fortune Magazine's 2014 40 Under 40 for her company S'well. Read more about Sarah here.
- Recent graduates Cory Finney and Christian Nitu sold a business that started as an idea while in class recently sold their Snowgate business after winning a regional Miller Lite Tap the Future business contest. Read more about their experience here.
- Bill Marolt (’67 marketing) and 2014 Alumni Achievement Award recipient grew the U.S. Olympic sports organization to become one of the most highly respected in the world.
Leeds has a solid plan and that as we achieve more of our strategic objectives the School will reach higher levels of excellence. We will continue to approach each effort with the entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude that exemplifies students, faculty and alumni of the Leeds School. It is exciting to see that our work has the potential of being highly influential, as business practices are redefined throughout the 21st century.